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A Photographer’s Progress (1)

I Am, Therefore I Take Pictures.

Just as, when you turn about 7-8 months old, you amazingly discover that you can crawl on all fours across the living-room carpet, one day, given the unknown ways of fate, you find out that photography is both fascinating and possible. Since you have always been a poor drawer, this form of instant drawing fits like a charm as, at last, you don’t have to draw any longer. All you need to do is look around and help yourself for free, as if from a confectionery shop window, by simply pressing a button. A piece of cake!

Such a discovery may come along either thanks to your parents who, in an attempt to cool your hot-headed teenage down a bit, buy you a camera as a gift, or because some tongue-in-cheek vaguely alcoholic uncle takes you to his dark room for a demonstration on how to enlarge black and white wedding photos, or due to some dear friend you’ve always been competing with who shows up carrying a stack of photos presumably “different” which he had taken himself and who, on top of that, starts explaining what the author, the friend, that is, wanted to convey, stirring an untold feeling of admiration in you as well as the desire to follow in his steps and maybe do even better.

So, you buckle down to it. At this stage of your journey, all shots are just fine, regardless of their number. I’m talking about those relatively sharp ones as long as, thus far, “sharp” is synonymous to “good”. You shoot indiscriminately anything that moves the way a cockamamie (ex)friend of mine, a bigshot company owner (nowadays), while on a boar hunt, gunned down an owl out of boredom just because the poor bird was sitting on its bough staring into the distance. I was told the story by an eyewitness.

The learning curve is not even a curve: it’s actually a silver pointed arrow aiming for the sun. There is no time to take in any information, you’re too hasty in showing the world what you’re made of. Everything you touch turns into gold and everywhere you look there are none but brilliant subjects. Once transferred on paper, you proudly boast the images all around. You also make sure to throw some light on those seemingly harder to grasp, using your nail to highlight the details which may escape unmindful viewers and mumbling words such as “you see”, “here” or “like that”… Parents and friends pat you on the back letting out all kinds of appreciative interjections: “Oh!”, “Wow!”, “Far out!” The magic word “Cool!” stays with you like a drug everywhere you go.

You levitate with exhilaration. Although you walk among people, you’re the only one not touching the ground. You may go out alone or not, but there is always a camera hung around your neck and a deep sense of how important it is to be known as a Photographer – with a capital letter. This apparently everlasting euphoria is well justified: you’re in love, that is blind, dumb and deaf to the sound and fury of the world. You’re in love, though not as one usually is, but with that kind of first love, the worst possible, albeit the most beautiful, that throws you into an abyss of delusion. You become, as such, unassailable, invincible and almighty. All is well up until one day, when you reach the second stage of the journey. (To be continued)

evolutia unui fotograf 1